Thursday, May 09, 2002

A new distributed computing project is starting to model climate. In the FAQ, we find that some astute readers have asked "Won't all these computers being left on for 24 hours a day have a detrimental impact on the Climate System?" Here's a summary of the answer:
  1. 100,000 computers running this software use 432,000,000kJ of energy per day. (Is 432gJ legal in physics jargon?)
  2. This same amount of energy can boil water for 5,400,000 cups of tea.
  3. 37 million UK residents consume 126 million cups of tea collectively each day.
  4. Therefore, UK tea drinkers will use 23 times more energy each day than this project (at the (optimistic?) level of 100,000 full-time computers).

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